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You’ve seen it touted from every magazine cover on news-stands and at the supermarket: “1 week to a Better Beach Body !”, “14 days to a whole new you!”, “A cardio plan that really works!”

The benefits of the beach-body and healthy new you are many, and indisputable. But what is the best part of that promised beach body? You are energized, healthier, stronger and able to take on anything that comes your way!

Imagine getting that feeling from software or an SAP system? Now imagine your users getting that feeling from your SAP system!

How often have we designed a great system, only to have so many changes and tweaks and special extras added in during the project, or over the years, that the promises of ‘better, faster, cheaper’ and ‘streamlined’ are soon long-forgotten and the system seems to get in the way of doing work rather than helping you do it ? It becomes the IT equivalent of belly-flab or ‘love-handles’ we have neglected too long. Our systems become couch-potatoes!

Don’t you want to do something about it, but the task seems insurmountable? Sometimes the enthusiasm, from users to budget owners has waned or disappeared altogether. But you can change that! It is easy.

There are two basic components to any successful ‘Beach Body’ plan: Eat less. Move more. So here’s the simple solution; turn Beach-Body Boot-Camp into your project mission and method:

  • Get your system focused on core needs with the best functionality. Make it easier for your users to use the system. Trim the excess, trim the fat.
  • Move these changes quickly via agile methodologies, such as Scrum.

Let’s break that down:

1. Streamline

Why not take a page out of the books of SaaS providers and keep it simple for your users? The promised ‘ease of use’ isn’t just from the User Interface or technology, but from simplicity: less clutter, less choices, less redundancy, sharper focus. For you this means stream-lining :

  • Configuration
  • Workflows
  • Forms
  • Self Services / User Help
  • Make sure your design drives to the metrics you want to know about your business.

In addition, by reviewing the available functionality in SAP current releases and enhancement packs, you are able to review your legacy landscape, customizations and enhancements to the system and determine what is truly still required, and what has now been replaced by standard (and often better) SAP functionality.

2. Move Better, Move Faster.

A core part of a beach-body program, is the commitment. Without it, it’s just a great New Year’s resolution that fades. But if someone told you that you had to exercise every day for hours per day for the next year to get that super-model beach body, you would never get off the sofa!So here’s the Beach-Body trick: make the exercise small, quick, easy to do and noticeable results.

With that approach you get results in a shorter time, and build momentum.

I think that the perfect methodology to get moving is Scrum. It is a framework for completing complex projects quickly (see www.scrumalliance.org) via an iterative process of plan, sprint and review. You see results happening, you get energized, you stay engaged and you get more support and buy-in from people around you. And that in turn, becomes the life-style change that leads to long term results.

Here are the basics of your new fitness routine for an SAP Beach Body in a few weeks:

  • Product backlog (prioritized needs list)
  • Short Daily Scrum meetings
  • Sprint (2-4 weeks)
  • Sprint review
  • Release functionality / changes
  • Celebrate, and get ready for the next Sprint!

In a matter of weeks you will be on your way to your best SAP Beach Body yet!

(1) Scrumalliance.org.

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